“You saved me life, she tried to tell him. Not forever, not for good. Probably just temporarily. But you saved my life, and now I’m yours. The me that’s me right now is yours. Always.”
Rating: 3/5 stars
One extraordinary love.
Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.
Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
I’m pretty happy with a three star rating for this one, I thought this was going to be a sappy love story and it is definitely NOT THE CASE. This was much heavier then I thought it would be, and honestly, thank God for that because otherwise this would have been a one star read. I listened to the audiobook for this and I really think it made all the difference. The narrator did a fantastic job of bringing each character to life and still kept me engaged in the story even when I hated both Eleanor and Park.
My main issue with the book was that I really struggled with the romance between Eleanor and Park. Normally, when romances start off there’s this insane chemistry or hate to love. But this was more like overall disgust for one another, which made liking both characters very hard because they were both just complete assholes. Park went from “Jesus-fuck,” Park said softly, nodding to the space next to him, “just sit down,” to “Jesus. Was it possible to rape somebody’s hand?” And I’m sorry just…WHAT?! And Eleanor went from Park being the “stupid Asian kid” to “it made her want to have his babies and give him both of her kidneys.” Queue the eye rolls. The whiplash was real, and by the time I warmed up to the romance the book was basically over. I honestly think this story may have done better if Eleanor and Park were just friends instead of love interests.
Before you think I hate the book in it’s entirety that’s definitely not the case. I was not expecting Eleanor to come from a broken home with an abusive stepfather. This aspect of the plot is the main reason I stuck around until the end. Eleanor was previously kicked out of her home for standing up to her step-father, and the story starts off with her returning to her hellish home life she is desperately trying to hide. I was here for the parts were Eleanor would open up and allow not only Park, but readers to know more about her home life and the things she needed to do in order to keep her and her siblings safe. My heart really ached for her, especially since her school life wasn’t any easier either.
Without giving anything away let’s just say I wasn’t blown away with the ending either. Some people loved it, some hated, I just don’t really care? I thought it was a pretty good conclusion, but if there was ever another book I don’t think I’d be racing to pick it up (my TBR pile would definitely judge me).
“If you can’t save your own life, is it even worth saving?”
“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”
“He tried to remember how this happened—how she went from someone he’d never met to the only one who mattered.”
Overall, I’m glad that this took a turn for the better and ended up being more enjoyable than I originally thought it would be. I think from now on I’m going to stick to Rowell’s Carry On series since her contemporaries and I don’t really seem to mesh together too well.
Until next time,